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Party-goers celebrate end of lockdown as nightclubs reopen from midnight
19 July 2021, 07:39 | Updated: 19 July 2021, 15:48
Thousands of people last night celebrated the reopening of nightclubs as lockdown restrictions were lifted from midnight.
Party-goers around the country described the midnight reopening as being "like New Year" while queuing for their favourite venues.
Clubs had been shut since March 2020 due to the pandemic.
At Egg nightclub in North London, fundraiser Chloe Waite, 37 - who was first in line - said: "It's going to be a special night."
"For me this is a New Year's-type event and something we're going to remember for a long, long time and we might not get the opportunity for a while."
DJ Patrick Topping - who appeared at Digital nightclub in Newcastle - told LBC: "Just to see clubs are open again - it's a buzz."
"It's what I do, it's what I love, so it's just amazing seeing all the people here and everyone was going mental before."
People in Leeds eagerly awaited the opening of Bar Fibre too.
The bar's owner, Terry George, said that the evening before had been labelled 'Freedom Eve'.
"It feels so special," he said.
"People are treating it like a very special occasion, like a New Year's Eve type affair. Freedom Eve is what we're calling it.
"Finally, we're going to be able to dance. That's the biggest thing, which is kind of a little bit sad really, because we're given back something that's our given right, to be able to dance in a bar, in a club.
"It should've been something that was there much earlier than this."
It comes as 19 July marks the unlocking of the country in step four of its roadmap out of lockdown.
'Freedom Day' also saw the lifting of legal requirements such as wearing faces masks and social distancing.
That said, the government has introduced guidelines to ensure the public move forward with caution in coming weeks.
In a video shared on Twitter, Boris Johnson urged "prudence and respect for other people" as restrictions continue to ease.